September 24, 2013

Six Vt. homes evacuated after banned pesticide used

The Associated Press

RUTLAND, Vt. - State officials hope that Rutland County residents forced from their homes after it was discovered a banned pesticide had been used to kill bed bugs will be able to return to their home after they are cleaned.

The affected families hired a local pest control company to get rid of the bed bugs.

One of the pesticides used was chlorpyrifos, which can cause nervous system and developmental disorders. It has been banned since 2001.

Cary Giguere, a chemical expert with the Agriculture Agency, said the chemical would kill bed bugs.

"There were human health concerns and that pesticide is what we were finding on our swab samples at very, very high levels," he told Vermont Public Radio.

The state has identified 262 potential homes and apartments that need to be tested for the chemical, all in Rutland County. So far, 92 samples have been sent to the state's lab.

Officials think the most serious contamination has already been found.

Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen said his department just released cleanup guidelines.

"We actually have case managers to work with them to try and answer their questions about what they should do about their belongings and what some of them should do about cleaning up their houses," Chen said.


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